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Monday, March 29, 2010

Italy Stimulates the Modern Senses

For the i-SUITE hotel in Rimini, Italy, designers were charged with the responsibility to plan a property with rooms of all different shapes to resemble “the irregular spaces of a luxurious mansion while being at the same time domestic as a cozy house,” as Marco Ermeti, one of the hotel’s owners, said. An addition to his company, Ambienthotels, the i-SUITE was meant to bring to the coastal town a hotel similar to the contemporary boutiques one might find in Miami. For this, Ermeti and his brother hired Simone Micheli Architectural Hero  an Italian design firm that promises to live up to its name. “I feel like a metropolitan wrestler,” said Micheli in reference to the lofty title of his design company, “which doesn’t ever stop dreaming…fighting to prevent the idea’s conformation and the possible change of projects in relation to the stereotypes and to probates which characterize our present.” Such verbiage is what defines Micheli, a man whose architecture and design expertise lies in experiment, emotion and redefinition. At the 30th Colombian Architecture Convention in 2007, Micheli asserted that “the new luxury does not mean immobility or habit, but rather freedom and movement. As for architecture, the new luxury is related to the idea of regaining the beauties and the truth of our daily life together with our inner feelings.” He treats each project as an exploration of senses and experiment on human interaction and the 54-all-suite hotel, i-SUITE (which   opened the end of November, 2009) was no exception.

“The i-SUITE is a hotel ‘other,’ created to revolutionize the standard, eliminating bias in the hotel sector,” he said. One of the main barriers the i-SUITE aims to break down is the separation between hotel guest and employee and create a reception area where guests are greeted with a smile and handshake as opposed to a sign-in desk. The hotel also takes a risk by dedicating the most important part of the building — the entire sixth-floor panoramic area — to the wellness center, where Micheli says the view and light allow a “perfect relax.” The contemporary layout, fixtures and fittings at i-SUITE, whose architecture was conceived by Giovanni Quadrelli, are not meant to exist for the sake of boundary-pushing, as it might at first appear, but rather to encourage guests to live their stay at the hotel in a dreamlike state of relaxation. In addition to conceiving the interior layout, Micheli also designed the i-SUITE furniture collection for the hall, suites, restaurant, spa and swimming pool. “The goal that drives every single planning thought is linked with the will to qualify human life, to favor his emotions, to let every receptor of my three-dimensional message break the known barrier in order to come closer to a visual and contenutistic future,” said Micheli. “What links all my works and connects me with the purchaser I choose or who chooses me is a sort of sensorial type. All my realizations wrap and involve the man taking him in a dream dimension of wonder and amazement.”

In order to actualize some of these quite cerebral ideas, Micheli created an interior that focuses on materials, colors and space. Micheli describes Rimini with the words “vitality, cordiality, heat, spontaneity, love, amazement and energy.” His goal was to highlight those characteristics inside the hotel by using colors like green which he calls “life’s expression,” silver, which he likens to dynamism, and white, which Micheli says symbolizes innocence and elegance. Micheli is currently working on the design for a hotel in Milan as part of the Boscolo Hotel’s chain, two hotels in Tuscany and southern Italy as well as a project for a touristic village near Venice. All the upcoming projects will have one aim, says Micheli: “To create works able to originate widespread economic comebacks to buyers, telling three-dimensional stories about excellence, uniqueness and the extraordinary.”


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